NEPA Sports Nation

Menendez, Ranieli carry Patriots

By Tom Robinson,

HUGHESTOWN – Drew Menendez and Anthony Ranieli each drove in three runs in the last two innings Monday as Pittston Area advanced in the District 2-4 Class 5A baseball playoffs with an 11-1, six-inning victory over visiting Shikellamy.

Menendez tripled over the center fielder’s head with one out in the bottom of the sixth to drive in two runs. Ranieli’s single deep into the shortstop hole drove in Menendez with the run that ended the game on the 10-run rule.

The Patriots led just 4-1 going to the fifth inning before Menendez singled in a run by reaching out and sending the ball into right field. Ranieli’s chopper up the middle drove in the next two runs.

Pittston Area finished the game with four runs in the sixth when seven out of eight batters reached base.

Menendez, Ranieli and Drew Delucca each had two of Pittston Area’s nine hits. Menendez also scored three runs while Delucca drove in two. Elijah Barr doubled and scored twice. Troy Davis scored twice and had a run and RBI.

Nick Cerasaro threw a four-hitter and escaped potential trouble early.

The Braves loaded the bases with none out in a 0-0 game in the top of the second.

Cerasaro gave up just one run in that spot before retiring 13 of the last 14 batters he faced.

“After the third inning, Nick settled in and that was the Nick that we expected,” Pittston Area coach Paul Zaffuto said.

Shikellamy coach Rich Aurand said his team missed a chance to possibly send the game in a different direction.

“We had bases loaded nobody out,” Aurand said. “You put a few more on the board there and things are looking a little bit different.”

Second-seeded Pittston Area advances to host Wallenpaupack in Wednesday’s subregional semifinal.

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